- Closed Florida casino accusing rival of opportunism
- The Mardi Gras is closed indefinitely after sustaining significant hurricane damage
As the people of Florida work to clean up after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, it seems that the spirit of communal teamwork has not extended to all parts of the casino industry, with one major Florida resort allegedly accusing its chief competitor of underhand practices.
Most of the state’s casino businesses came through the hurricane relatively unscathed, but one of the few significant casualties was the Mardi Gras Casino.
The land-based casino suffered major damage as a mini-tornado ripped off the roof and caused the first floor to be flooded.
The resort is closed indefinitely as a result, and, according to reporting in the Miami Herald, the nearby Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach has been going out of its way to offer to accommodate the Mardi Gras’ regular customers.
The rival casinos, which are situated about a mile apart, have a long history of rivalry, and are engaged in an ongoing tussle for sixth place in Florida’s eight-strong pari-mutuel market.
According to the Herald, the Mardi Gras management has suggested that this time their main rival has taken things too far.
The paper has reported that since the hurricane damaged the Mardi Gras roof, Gulfstream has pledged to honor any free slots loyalty coupons that the Mardi Gras has given to its top papers, and Mardi Gras President Dan Adkins has expressed his disappointment:
“It is sad and pathetic, but not surprising. It’s so sad when you have a community that’s battered and someone feels like now’s the time to be an opportunist. It’s indicative of their nature and that’s OK with me.” Dan Adkins
In response, according to the Herald, Gulfstream Park’s assistant General Manager Ernie Dellaverson hit back at Adkins’ remarks:
“We’re just doing something that’s been done since the beginning of casino marketing. If the roles were reversed, I’d expect them to do [the same]. It’s about helping the players, and I haven’t heard a complaint so far.” Ernie Dellaverson
Adkins also suggested that Gulfstream is still upset at being beaten into seventh spot in casino earnings this year, with $50 million in gross gaming revenue in the first half of the year, compared to Mardi Gras’ $51 million. to the sixth spot in casino earnings this year, albeit by a photo finish.
Mardi Gras posted $51 million in gross gaming revenue for the first half of 2017, compared to Gulfstream Park’s $50 million.
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